This is a beauty. I guess the new Democrat leisure activity is to take everything Bush has said over the past three years and to distort it or parse it for the most ridiculous meaning. For example, try this one on for size from the Calpundit:
QUESTION: Sir, why should we be more worried about Saddam Hussein, who has no nuclear weapons, than Kim Chong-il, who is unstable and does have nuclear weapons?
THE PRESIDENT: Well, first of all, I think it’s important to remember that Saddam Hussein was close to having a nuclear weapon. We don’t know whether or not he has a nuclear weapon. We do expect him to disarm his weapons of mass destruction, that’s what we expect.
To which the Calpundit states: Nobody
So the question is, should we only take Bush seriously when he’s giving a prepared speech? Everything else is subject to be wrong?
John, honestly, there’s no such thing as a casual discussion with the president of the United States. He was hip deep in this stuff (at least I hope he was), and he knew precisely what the truth was.
But instead he had to spice it up. And you think it’s OK because he was in a coffee shop talking to reporters instead of in the Oval Office?
That won’t do. He’s either being straight with us or he isn’t. And it’s starting to look like he took every chance he could to exaggerate and spin and dissemble. You shouldn’t be defending this.
Kevin- No one knew whether or not he actually had weapons except Saddam. We suspected he didn’t- but you never know. That is what Bush said. You choose, in retrospect, to perceive this as a lie.
It was not a lie then, it is not a lie now. Until you can, with 100% accuracy, state who has what weapons where, that is how it will always be.
Bush probably would agree with you in one regard- he probably did not “think” he had a nuke- but that is not what he said. He said we don’t know.
You guys are really outdoing yourself with this, I will give you that. And that is not parsding words- words mean things. Unless you want to claim that thinking and knowing are the same thing.
So if Bush had said “We don’t know whether or not Saddam Hussein was behind the 9/11 attack”, you would be fine with that? I mean, we don’t *know* that he wasn’t, right?
The question here is not the parsing of words. Statements made by human beings very often have implications beyond their literal meaning. If I were to say, “We don’t know whether or not Tony Blair had David Kelly murdered” then you would (rightly) take this as implying that I considered this a real possiblity.
When the President of the United States says, “We don’t know whether or not [Saddam Hussein] has a nuclear weapon.” then the obvious implication of this is that the US Government considers this a real possibility. The intelligence didn’t support that position and Bush should have known that. (I’m perfectly willing to consider the possibility that he didn’t, although I’m not sure that’s really more palatable)
By the way, you were the first one here to mention the word “lie”. Kevin has only claimed that Bush was being misleading.
“We don’t know whether or not Saddam Hussein was behind the 9/11 attack”, you would be fine with that? I mean, we don’t *know* that he wasn’t, right?
We do know that he wasn’t behind it, so yes I would have a problem with it.
We don’t know if Blair is involved in the Kelly incident- I highly doubt it, and I am willing to bet most people are smart enbough not to make such a claim.
For the love of everything holy- it was a possibility he had a nuclear weapon. They didn’t know if he did- they doubted it, but they didn’t know. They still don’t- which scares me more than the word parsing going on with you guys.
And Bush said he was pretending otherwise about something he knew was false. He never used the word misleading.
And what are AVID and MAVID?
Let me get this straight:
1. A reporter asks Bush a legitimate question about differences between our Iraq and N. Korea policies.
2. Bush gives a non-answer. Even if we thought it was in the realm of possibility that Iraq had a nuclear weapon, why treat them different than Korea?
3. Kevin Drum comments on whether Bush’s answer is misleading.
Therefore, Democrats have no credibility.